This website is part of the USC Annenberg Digital Archives. Read More

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

Michael R. Bloomberg is the 108th Mayor of the City of New York. Born on February 14, 1942, in Boston and raised by middle-class parents in Medford, Massachusetts, he attended Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Business School.

With a vision of an information company that would use technology to bring transparency and efficiency to the buyers and sellers of financial securities, he began a small start-up company called Bloomberg LP in 1981. Today, Bloomberg LP has over 250,000 subscribers to its financial news and information service. Headquartered in New York City, the company has 9,500 employees in more than 130 cities worldwide.

As his company grew, Michael Bloomberg started directing more of his attention to philanthropy. He has sat on the boards of numerous charitable, cultural, and educational institutions, including Johns Hopkins University, where, as chairman of the board, he helped build the Bloomberg School of Public Health into one of the world's leading institutions of public health research and training.

Already deeply involved in civic affairs, he officially entered public life in 2001, when he entered the race for Mayor. His election came just two months after the tragic attacks of 9/11, at a time when many believed that crime would return, businesses would flee, and New York might never recover. Instead, under Mayor Bloomberg's forward-looking leadership, and with his determination to build on the spirit of unity that defined the city after the attacks, New York rebounded faster and stronger than anyone expected.

In his first term, Mayor Bloomberg cut crime 20 percent; created jobs by supporting small businesses; unleashed a boom of affordable housing; worked to revitalize the waterfront; implemented ambitious public health strategies, including the successful ban on smoking in restaurants and bars; expanded support for community arts organizations; and improved the efficiency of government. In addition, he won control of New York's schools from the broken Board of Education, and began turning around the nation's largest school district by injecting standards into the classroom and holding schools accountable for success. As a result, graduation rates have increased nearly 20 percent, and reading and math scores have both risen to record levels.

In 2005, Mayor Bloomberg was re-elected by a diverse coalition of support that stretched across the political spectrum. In his second term, while balancing the budget and driving unemployment to a record low, Mayor Bloomberg has taken on a number of new challenges. He launched an innovative program to combat poverty. He's undertaken a far-reaching campaign to fight global warming. And as co-founder of a bipartisan coalition of more than 200 mayors from every region of the country, Mayor Bloomberg is working to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals and off city streets.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was first sworn in as California's 38th governor on November 17, 2003, and again on January 5, 2007, after his re-election in 2006. Like many American success stories, Governor Schwarzenegger's began with hope and hard work. Arriving in America from Austria at the age of 21, Governor Schwarzenegger has since become one of the most recognizable people in the world. 

Along with his successful careers in bodybuilding, movies and business, Governor Schwarzenegger also founded After-School All-Stars and chaired the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness. In 2002, he championed California's After-School Education and Safety Act (Proposition 49). Governor Schwarzenegger also serves as a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics.

Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa

Mayor Villaraigosa is known for his exceptional skill at building broad bi-partisan coalitions and is considered one of the leading progressive voices in the country. His mayoral platform emphasizes finding solutions to the major issues facing Los Angeles including education, transportation, public safety, economic development and ethics.

Born Antonio Villar on January 23, 1953, in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles, he is the oldest of four children raised by a single mother, Natalia Delgado. Villaraigosa graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School and attended UCLA, where he received a B.A. degree in history. He is a graduate of the People's College of Law.

At the age of 15, Villaraigosa began his lifelong involvement with the labor movement as a volunteer with the farm workers movement; later he served as a field representative/organizer with the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). He also is a past President of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Federation of Government Employees.

In 1994, Villaraigosa was elected to the California State Assembly; four years later, his colleagues elected him the first Assembly Speaker from Los Angeles in 25 years. While Speaker, Villaraigosa oversaw passage of landmark state legislation including the modernization of public schools, the toughest assault weapons ban in the country, the largest urban neighborhoods parks initiative in America, and the "Healthy Families" program that provides healthcare for more than half a million California children.

He ran for mayor of Los Angeles in 2001 and narrowly lost the election. He then was appointed a distinguished fellow at UCLA and USC, where he helped write "After Sprawl," a policy blueprint for addressing the issues facing many urban centers.

In 2003, he won the 14th District Los Angeles City Council Seat. During his tenure on the City Council, he championed many of the issues he is addressing today as Mayor, and is widely credited with resolving the MTA transit strike, creating the largest passive park on the Eastside and Los Angeles, and protecting funding for the Arts.

He is married to the former Corina Raigosa, an educator ("Villaraigosa" is a combination of their surnames) and is the father of four children.

Governor Janet Napolitano

Governor Janet Napolitano's focus is on Education, Foundation and Innovation in Arizona.

In four and a half years in office, Napolitano instituted a privately funded free-book project to encourage reading. She has fought for—and achieved—sweeping changes in Arizona's Child Protective Services. She also, most recently, saw to the funding of Voluntary Full Day Kindergarten for Arizona and secured raises for Arizona's teachers.

She is focusing on preparing the state for the 21st century global economy, through Innovation Arizona. Through this initiative she is improving education in Arizona by aligning curriculum to better prepare students for success in the workforce.

Napolitano is chair of the National Governors Association, and has been recognized nationally by Time Magazine, which in 2005 named her as one of America's Top 5 Governors.



Featured Speakers
Mike Bloomberg, Mayor of New York
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California
Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles
Janet Napolitano, Governor of Arizona

Other Speakers
Wallis Annenberg, Annenberg Foundation
Lauren Bon, Annenberg Foundation
Margaret Carlson, Columnist, Bloomberg News; Washington Editor, The Week magazine
Jay Carney, Time
Geoffrey Cowan, Dean, USC Annenberg School for Communication and director, Center on Communication Leadership
Gray Davis, former Governor of California
Matthew Dowd, brand strategist and former advisor to President George W. Bush
Harold Ford, Jr., DLC chairman and former Congressman
Charles E. Jones, Sherry Lansing Foundation
Susan Kennedy, Chief of Staff, Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Michael Kinsley, columnist
Sherry Lansing, Sherry Lansing Foundation
Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC
John Podesta, Center for American Progress
Richard J. Riordan, Of Counsel, Bingham McCutchen; former Los Angeles mayor
Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of Kansas
Kevin Wall, Live Earth
Juan Williams, NPR and Fox News
Judy Woodruff, PBS's NewsHour

©2007 USC Annenberg. All rights reserved.
USC Annenberg School for Communication, 3502 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0281